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Tandoor 2.0

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    Tandoor 2.0

    Some of you might remember that a few years ago I built a backyard tandoor oven out of terracotta pots and a large ceramic planter. It worked quite well, although there was a bit of a learning curve which I was still in the middle of. During the following winter, the cover I had on it failed. It got water in between the cooking chamber and the containment vessel, froze and the containment vessel cracked and collapsed. I have been wanting to build another one but the larger ceramic decorative planets used for the containment vessel are generally too expensive. This past weekend Ollie's was running a special on ceramic planters and I found a suitable one for $30. So today I started my second tandoor build. Here are some photos. I still have to add the insulation materials and some kind of ring to hold the insulation in and keep it from blowing away in a stiff breeze.

    Here are all of the materials needed to build it:
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    The little saucer pieces hold the bottom cooking pot up off of the bottom of the container. It also allows air flow.
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    Ventilation/intake holes drilled in the bottoms of the containment and cooking vessels:
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    The upper and lower pots stacked together. Three bottom had been cut off of the upper pot.
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    Last edited by Dewesq55; June 10, 2020, 01:41 PM.

    #2
    Know that people use these ovens but never really thought about them.
    Several questions: 1: So you build a fire underneath and the heat rises into the oven? 2: What kind of vessel is the food placed, and how is it placed in the oven? 3: If you place the vessel in the oven do you elevate it somehow. Really curious about how it operates.

    Comment


      #3
      Donw - The whole thing is the oven. The outer vessel (the dark brown decorative planter in the photos) holds everything together. I have a planner stand which holds this pot up off the ground. Inside of it you put the 2 terracotta pots one upside down on the other with the bottom of it cut off. Those 2 pots together are the cooker vessel. The space between the ceramic pot and the terracotta pots is filled with insulation material, generally vermiculite and/or perlite. You light a charcoal fire in the bottom of the terracotta pots/oven. You get it very hot in there (700-800°F). The food (most of it) is put on skewers and set on them in the oven with the bottom resting on a ledge above the fire. The proteins are generally either cut small or slashed to let the heat get into the protein quickly. The other main food cooked in the tandoor is an Indian yeast bread called naan. The naan dough is rolled out then stretched into a teardrop shape and stick onto the side of the oven on the upper portion. It generally cooks in about 2 minutes.

      Comment


        #4
        Donw - here are a couple of pictures from my first transit showing the fire lit in the bottom and how hot it can get.
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          #5
          This is definitely intriguin, though I'm ready fer bed, an not quite wrappin round th concept , jus yet, but I'll be back fer another perusal, later. Thanks fer sharin, Brother
          I Love learnin New stuff. Makes me wee lil brain happy.

          Comment


            #6
            Love this! I dig the simplicity. If you can, please share more pics as the build progresses. Thanks for sharing!

            Comment


              #7
              Thanks for the lessons. Quite intriguing. We make naan here on a griddle, but while good it lacks something that we get in the purchased ones. Maybe it is the higher heat from a Tandoor.

              Comment


              • Donw
                Donw commented
                Editing a comment
                Funny, I though about joking that you should drop off some of your naan on your way to down to Chincoteague.🙂

              • Dewesq55
                Dewesq55 commented
                Editing a comment
                Donw - We are going back down to CIVA next week. Where are you in MD, if that's not too personal to ask?

              • Donw
                Donw commented
                Editing a comment
                I live right by the Maryland part of Assateague island. I live on the point of land at the extreme north end of Chincoteague Bay where it ends and divides into Newport Bay and Sinepuxent Bay. I can watch Wallops Island rocket launches from my front porch. As one service person told me last week, “You got to get lost first to find your house.”🙂 Dewesq55
                Last edited by Donw; June 3, 2020, 06:02 PM.

              #8
              This looks fun David. Please keep showing us as you go on cooking! Great post!

              Comment


                #9
                This looks great. What a nice Springtime project. I'm looking forward to hearing and seeing more about this setup.

                I googled and found another DIY Tandoor Oven project using clay pots here.

                Question: are those clay and ceramic pots and vermiculite food-safe at high heats? No outgassing? I know kiln temps are quite high, but wonder just the same. I used to bake bread in flower pots for fun before reading that not all pots were food safe. That's a different deal, I know, but it got me thinking about gases.

                Kathryn
                Last edited by fzxdoc; June 2, 2020, 07:14 AM.

                Comment


                • Dewesq55
                  Dewesq55 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Kathryn: fzxdoc The truth is I can't be certain, but I believe them to be safe. The terra cotta pots aren't glazed. I have read conflicting information as far as heavy metals. Some articles say that inflated clay pots are generally safe. One article I read said you can't be sure. The insulation materials are not in contact with food. In any event, I believe they are safe. I saw an article where Jamie Oliver built one using clay flue pipe and vermiculite insulation.

                • fzxdoc
                  fzxdoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Nontheless, Dewesq55 , you've got a fun project there. I see that some home made tandoors have lava rock surrounds. If we had a real back yard instead of a forest I'd be walking in your footsteps. It looks like an interesting build and a fun way to cook.

                  Kathryn

                • Dewesq55
                  Dewesq55 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  fzxdoc - Generally the surrounds are there to keep the vermiculite/perlite insulation from blowing way. On mine, I have a "donut" of hardware cloth which sits on top of the insulation which I then cover with a good layer of landscaping river pebbles which holds everything in place.

                #10
                So, it took me longer than expected to get this finished. One of the pots I bought to make the liner had a long crack in it which I discovered after I cut the bottom off. The 14" terracotta pot I needed was hard to find around here for some reason. I finally got a replacement that doesn't have a crack. As an aside, the crack wasn't a deal breaker. These tandoors often develop cracks during use and they continue to function perfectly well. I just thought I'd rather start off with intact pots. I have learned a lot since my last tandoor about care and maintenance, and that includes ways to help avoid cracks.

                Anyway, while I was waiting for Lowe's to get more 14" pots in, I did some more research on DIY tandoors and got at least one good idea. This photo shows it. Instead of the small saucer pieces for the bottom pot to rest on, I cut a ring out of the bottom of the cracked pot and put that down first and placed the bottom put on it. This prevents the insulation material from migrating into the air space below the oven and keeps it contained. It also leaves all of the vent holes uncovered.
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                I also cut some notches in the top rim of the oven to keep the skewers in place and also allow the oven to be covered when the skewers are in it.
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                Then I broke out the welder and fabricated a wheeled base so I can move it around on the patio. My first one didn't have one and it was a real PITA to move.
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                Here it is completed with the insulation and river pebble surround in place.
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                Unfortunately, I don't can't do a burn in since I'm going away for a few days and I wouldn't want to leave the oven unattended until the fire was completely out. You have to let it burn out on its own. You can't use any water to douse it. I also don't have a way to close down the air intake. I had one for my first tandoor and never used it, so I left it off this one.
                Last edited by Dewesq55; June 10, 2020, 02:52 PM. Reason: Typos.

                Comment


                  #11
                  Fun!

                  Comment


                    #12
                    Thanks again for this thread. It has been interesting and educational. Now I’m staring at that large bag of perlite I have sitting in the shed that I never opened and thinking about measuring some of the terra cotta pots sitting in there too.

                    Comment


                      #13
                      I like it !!!!

                      Comment


                        #14
                        Damn dude, I'm beyond impressed. This is very cool !!! Keep going ....

                        Comment

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